Spring Baking Championship Season 4 winner: Exceptional geode cakes


Which of the three finalist bakers was crowned Spring Baking Championship Season 4 winner? Only one geode cake had the perfect combination of taste and beauty.

The Spring Baking Championship finale focused on hidden beauty. From ugly fruits to geode cakes, this Spring Baking Championship episode showed that desserts need that perfect balance of taste and visual appeal. The baker who found that combination was named Spring Baking Championship Season 4 winner.

Throughout Spring Baking Championship Season 4, all the bakers have had their ups and downs. The final three bakers were no different. Cristina was clearly the piping queen. Her desserts were spring on a plate. The colors, decorations and attention to detail set her apart.

Judges Nancy Fuller, Duff Goldman, and Lorraine Pascale, as seen on Spring Baking Championship, Season 4.

Caleb was the baker who focused on creativity. He used interesting flavor combinations and inventive techniques in his desserts. Even though he was a big presence in the kitchen, his desserts had great attention to little details.

Nacho seemed to be the fan favorite. The husband of a former Spring Baking Championship contestant, this old-school baker balanced the flavor, technique and decoration in his desserts. While sometimes his execution faltered, Nacho always seemed to pull through. Sometimes, know-how will trump flashy techniques. Never underestimate years of experience.

Did you guess the Spring Baking Championship Season 4 winner? While I was hopeful, this episode didn’t offer too many clues till the final reveal.

Judges Nancy Fuller and Duff Goldman sample Nacho’s French Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich with African Horned Melon and Cherimoya Gelato.

This week’s pre-heat focuses on ugly fruits. While that description was obvious, a better description would be unusual fruits. Looking at the list of fruits, many of them are uncommon, not generally used fruits.

The three finalists had to combine two ugly fruits into a beautiful, spring dessert. While the bakers dashed to grab ingredients, I don’t think that they put too much thought into the flavor combinations. These fruits aren’t commonly found in desserts, which lead to some confusion.

One dessert was clearly the prettiest of the bunch. Cristina’s jackfruit and rambutan tart was visually stunning. While I think of jackfruit as a vegan protein substitute, she was able to transform this fruit into a delicious curd. The tart was a smart choice for the pre-heat.

Caleb had dragon fruit and finger lime. Choosing to bake a macaron was gutsy. While his textures were good, Caleb’s flavors weren’t as pronounced. The judges wanted more finger lime flavor and more dragon fruit.

Nacho also made a version of a macaron. His macaron ice cream sandwich could have been winner, but Nacho had many technical issues. His ice cream wasn’t set and his macaron was under-baked. The judges were so disappointed. It is hard to see a baker stumble so close to the finish line.

Host Ali Khan, as seen on Spring Baking Championship, Season 4.

Cristina won the pre-heat. Her advantage for winning was choosing and assigning the colors for the main challenge, geode cakes. Just as the name sounds, the bakers had to create a cake that resembled a geode. Basically, a multi-tiered cake has a carved out section filled with rock candy. These geode cakes are visually stunning. When done well, the cakes reveal a gradient, color explosion.

With just five hours to create one of these cakes, the bakers had a difficult task ahead of theme. This type of cake needs to be delicious as well as visually impressive. Sure, everyone loves a beautiful cake, but if that cake lacks flavor does it matter? A great cake, like the Spring Baking Championship Season 4 winner, must have both components.

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Cristina chose blue as her color. Overall, her cake had lovely decoration but it wasn’t necessarily a geode. Her cake didn’t have a carved out area, rather her decoration was more animated with the crystals scattered down the cake.

With her grandmother as inspiration, Cristina made a guava and cheese cake. Although some people may be unfamiliar with this flavor combination, the classic Cuban combination is quite yummy. Unfortunately, Cristina’s cake was a little dense. Could that technical mistake hurt her chanced to win?

Nacho was given purple as his color. His cake incorporated the color into the crystals as well as the ingredients. The use of blackberry coulis was smart. Even more creative was using pecan pralines to add a crunch element referencing the geode crystals. It was the best idea of the day.

This geode cake was a definitely blend of delicious cake and stunning decorations. The combination of flavor and texture was a hit, although Duff thought that the cake was a little sweet. Also, Nacho had a geode cake topper which was another smart move. His geode cut-out, although small, was quite pretty.

Judges Nancy Fuller, Duff Goldman and Lorraine Pascale sample Nacho’s Italian Cream Cake with Blackberry and Pecan Praline Filling, as seen on Spring Baking Championship, Season 4.

Caleb had amber as his color. He had never done a geode cake but took to the challenge well. Inspired by his mom’s love of geodes, Caleb had a bold cake. Unfortunately, his color placement needed a more subtle hand since there wasn’t enough gradient to the color rock candy placement.

The flavor of Caleb’s cake was Duff’s hands-down favorite. Creating a genoise cake, Caleb really pushed his technical level. The cake’s texture was perfection. While his flavors could have used a slight punch, the cake’s execution was well done.

So, which baker had the best geode cake and was named the Spring Baking Championship Season 4 winner? Nacho won.

There is something about Nacho that endeared him to both the judges and fans. Whether it was his “fluffy” comments or his smiling personality, Nacho was a delight on screen. More importantly, Nacho showed that he baked from his heart. While some bakes didn’t go as planned, he let his inspirations and emotions drive his baking.

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Congratulations to Nacho on his big win. Is there more in store for this Spring Baking Championship Season 4 winner? Everyone will have to wait and see. Until then, take a look back at this season for some Mother’s Day baking inspiration. If you bake from your heart, like Nacho, I willing to bet that your mom will love whatever you create.